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Dubai (AFP) – Four ships, such as two Saudi oil tankers, were harmed in as nevertheless unexplained “sabotage attacks” at a time of Gulf tensions activated by a bitter US-Iran standoff.

Amid growing fears of a conflict, listed here is what we know about Sunday’s attacks off the Emirati coast.

– What occurred? –

A United Arab Emirates govt formal said the Saudi oil tankers Al-Marzoqah and Amjad ended up attacked off the emirate of Fujairah along with the Norwegian tanker Andrea Victory and a UAE ship, the A. Michel.

The Andrea Victory’s supervisors, Thome Group, said the tanker experienced a hole in the hull location “after being struck by an unfamiliar object on the waterline”.

The crew ended up unharmed and the ship was not in any danger of sinking.

Saudi Electrical power Minister Khalid al-Falih said the kingdom’s two tankers suffered “significant damage” but there were no casualties or any oil spill.

Neither Saudi Arabia nor the UAE, both of those close allies of the United States, have however given particulars on the exact mother nature of the attacks.

Introducing to the tensions, Saudi Arabia said Tuesday that two pumping stations on a key east-west oil pipeline had been strike in a drones’ attack. Yemen’s Iran-backed Huthi rebels claimed before they experienced strike several very important Saudi targets.

– Who was driving ship assaults? –

There has been no declare of responsibility, and neither Riyadh nor Abu Dhabi has pointed a finger of blame.

The UAE minister of state for foreign affairs, Anwar Gargash, has claimed the Emirates would probe the “deliberate sabotage” of the ships.

Questioned whether Washington thought Tehran performed a position, Brian Hook, the US particular envoy for Iran, declined to comment, stating only US authorities would be assisting the investigation at the UAE’s request.

– What has been the reaction? –

Saudi Arabia, Iran’s regional arch-rival, condemned “the functions of sabotage which targeted professional and civilian vessels”, a foreign ministry source mentioned.

“This criminal act constitutes a significant danger to the stability and basic safety of maritime navigation and adversely impacts regional and worldwide peace and safety,” the source additional.

Without the need of accusing Tehran, US President Donald Trump warned that Iran would “suffer greatly” if it does “anything”.

“I’m listening to little stories about Iran,” Trump stated at the White House. “If they do anything, it would be a pretty lousy mistake. If they do nearly anything they will go through significantly.”

Britain warned of the risk of conflict erupting “by accident” in the Gulf, as Tehran distanced alone and known as for an investigation into the “alarming and regrettable” assaults.

The United Nations urged restraint from all sides.

“We are involved about the heightened tensions in the area. We contact on all involved get-togethers to physical exercise restraint for the sake of regional peace,” explained UN spokesman Farhan Haq.

– What is significance of area? –

Fujairah port is the only Emirati terminal located on the Arabian Sea coast, bypassing the Strait of Hormuz, as a result of which most Gulf oil exports pass.

Iran has repeatedly threatened to near the strait in circumstance of a military confrontation with the United States.

In accordance to the Electricity Information Administration (EIA), 35 per cent of the world’s seaborne oil transits passes as a result of the Strait of Hormuz.

Oil transit was disrupted in 1984 in the course of the Iran-Iraq war (1980-1988) when much more than 500 vessels ended up ruined or ruined in a “Tanker War”.

In 1988, an Iran Air flight from Tehran to Dubai was shot down by missiles fired from a US Navy cruiser patrolling the strait. All 290 people on board were being killed.

The crew of the USS Vincennes stated they mistook the Airbus for an Iranian fighter.

– What are the stakes? –

Washington’s dispatch to the area of the USS Abraham Lincoln provider group, an amphibious assault ship, a Patriot missile battery and B-fifty two bombers has sparked fears of achievable military clashes.

The raising tensions arrive just after Tehran claimed previous 7 days it has stopped respecting boundaries on its nuclear things to do agreed underneath a 2015 offer that has since been abandoned by Washington.

US countrywide stability advisor John Bolton has mentioned Washington’s army buildup was “a apparent and unmistakable concept to the Iranian regime that any attack on United States interests or on those of our allies will be fulfilled with unrelenting force”.

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